The Art of Accessorizing: Custom Mix-and-Match Stationery

I’m a girl…therefore, I love accessorizing. I enjoy mixing and matching my outfits with shoes, hats, sunglasses, bags, jewelry, and even my nail polish to suit my mood.

So why not with paper, too?

A few months ago, I was approached by a woman who had a very particular request for a set of Mid-Century Modern Stationery. She wanted to have something that was fun and stylish and that would work for her in both her Beverly Hills home and her Atlanta home. An interior design fanatic herself, she wanted her stationery to reflect her Mid-Century Modern aesthetic with a bright pop of color!

I proposed doing two different patterned black and white envelope liners with envelopes in two of her favorite colors—Coral and Aqua. Then we printed half the envelopes with her Beverly Hills address and half with her Atlanta address. She ended up with 4 different sets of notecards to suit her mood!

We also did several sets of notepads and some gift tags in matching Coral and Aqua coin envelopes to round out the full Mid-Century Modern Stationery Suite.

There are so many options today to customize and accessorize. Being a creative person and designer, myself, I love when I can get my hands on designing my own accessories. Thankfully, there’s Melanie Mueller of MEL BOTERI. I just can’t get enough of these custom handbags! After sitting down with Melanie and thumbing through her vast assortment of exquisite Spanish and Italian leathers, you’ll be hooked. These classic styles are the perfect canvas for a pop of color. That turquoise liner…out of control!

If designing your own accessories isn’t really for you, another one of my all-time Atlanta favorites is Beth Ann Style. Although her site is in the works for online shopping, Beth Ann’s boutique has amazing one-of-a-kind pieces that are eclectic and chic. This is one of my favorite purchases from her store…a black and white pearl and crystal tassel necklace by Kenneth Jay Lane. I get so many compliments when I wear it out, and I have the fabulous Beth Ann to thank!

Building a wardrobe with lots of accessories is the best way to go. If you’d like to build a custom stationery wardrobe, email me, and I’ll create a unique paper trousseau for any mood!

Around the Clock Shower

It is the middle of June…can you believe it? While wedding invitation season has slowed down for the summer months, shower invitations are going strong for the Fall brides. Lately I’ve been making frequent trips to the post office, dropping off brightly colored sets of shower invitations!

Even though I don’t usually get to work with the bride on the shower invitations, I always design with her in mind. I ask about her favorite colors, hobbies, where she likes to shop, and what she’s planning for her wedding. Then I ask myself, what would I like to see when I open up this envelope?

Of course, I want to see something bright and fun…something that gets me excited to see all my friends and family who are coming together to celebrate such an exciting time in my life! What better to do that than a beautiful invitation?

The Around the Clock Shower Invitation has to be one of my favorite invitations I’ve designed to date, not to mention the most popular! If you’ve never heard of an Around the Clock Shower, it’s where each guest is asked to bring a gift to be used for that specific hour. For instance, if you get 7am, you could bring an electric toothbrush or a shaving kit. If you get 6pm, you could bring a cocktail shaker or bar set. They’re actually a lot of fun!

When I was asked to design the Around the Clock Shower Invitation, I knew I didn’t want to clutter up the invitation with all the times of day and what to bring, etc. Sometimes you even see the invitations where they write in with a marker what time you’re supposed to shop for, but I just thought that was too much and ruined the look of the invitation. So, I came up with a set of six different gift tags that guests could attach to their gift to bring to the shower. The tags come with white or matching colored ribbon tied on, and grommets can be added for an extra charge.

To avoid confusion with the times, I simplified things down to The Bath Hour, Breakfast Hour, Barbecue Hour, Cocktail Hour, The Dinner Hour, and Bedtime Hour. When I assemble the invitations, I alternate tags so the times of day are distributed evenly.

These are some of the other color ways guests have customized the Around the Clock Shower Invitation. I love how fun and colorful they are!

If you’re hosting a shower this summer, consider throwing an Around the Clock Shower. Your guests will have a ton of fun, and you can be assured there will be a laugh or two!

Custom Hand-Drawn Monograms

A few weeks ago, I posted some photos of the hand-drawn maps I created for the Atlantan Brides Stroll the Square event, and with such great response, I wanted to share with you a recent hand-drawn monogram I created for a wonderful couple here in Atlanta.

In the South, we monogram everything. As Reese Witherspoon put it so perfectly, “My rule is, if it’s not moving, monogram it.” However, the same old monogram fonts don’t suit everyone’s needs or tastes.

Bride Maggie was looking for a custom monogram that she could incorporate into her and her new husband’s home together after their wedding. Designing with both fabrics and glass in mind, I kept the design simple but with enough intrigue to look beautiful and sophisticated both on their bedding, towels, and throws, as well as their glassware.

I sent over three hand-drawn monogram sketches from which she chose one, with a few tweaks, and from there, we created the finished product. We designed two final versions of the custom monogram so she could add another element of texture into the etching or embroidery with some horizontal lines in the F for added interest.

I think it turned out lovely, no? She and her new husband will enjoy this custom monogram for years to come!

Trout Amandine with Meuniere Sauce

In this house, we love fresh fish…from whole Red Snapper and stuffed Gulf Flounder to lump crab cakes and Georgia Rainbow Trout! Basically, if it swims, I love cooking it.

One meal we really enjoy cooking on weeknights is fresh Rainbow Trout. Because the trout fillets are so thin, they cook in almost no time at all, making it an easy-breezy weeknight dinner.

For my Trout Amandine with Meuniere Sauce recipe, I dredge the fillets in an egg wash and flour, and season them with Emeril’s Essence. This creole seasoning is great on fish—particularly mild fish, like Rainbow Trout, Redfish, and Mahi Mahi. Ever since I made my first batch a few years ago, it has been a permanent addition to my spice rack.

Once the fish is a nice golden brown, I top it off with almonds and a great Meuniere Sauce, which is browned butter, lemon, green onions, and fresh parsley. I think it makes a beautiful dish, no?

Next time you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner, pick up some fresh trout fillets, and give my Trout Amandine with Meuniere Sauce recipe a try. Email me, and let me know what you think, or post a pic of how your Rainbow Trout turns out on Instagram (#ecrustationery). Cheers!